Here’s Why the Government Wants Your Banking Records

MagnifyingGlassDespite objections from banks across the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is preparing to monitor how millions of Americans apply for mortgages, use credit cards, and overdraw their checking accounts. To further this mission, the consumer finance watchdog is requiring banks to submit their records. It has even bought the anonymous information of approximately 10 million consumers from credit-monitoring companies, including Experian, which was paid $8.4 million for the data.

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Created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, the consumer bureau consolidated and expanded U.S. oversight of consumer finances. In now supervises banks with assets over $10 million, including JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), as well as payday lenders, mortgages originators, debt collectors, and credit bureaus. However, Dodd-Frank does prohibit the agency from collecting data for purposes of gathering or analyzing the personally identifiable financial information of consumers.

The goal of this undertaking is to strengthen the enforcement of bank protections and rule-making procedures, as Bloomberg reported, but banking officials have questioned why the bureau is mandating that they turnover so many customer records without specifying the benefits in greater detail. “Do they need the reams and reams and reams of data we’re having to provide to them?” Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) senior vice president Susan Faulkner asked at a banking conference in March, according to the publication. “Don’t we have to find a healthier balance here?”…